Talk:Church Historian and Recorder

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Accuracy and citations[edit]

I'm seeing information on dates and positions in credible sources that are contradicting various uncited material in this page. It's happening enough, that I'm starting to doubt all uncited information here. Where are these figures even coming from? For example:

  • I find no sources saying Marlin K. Jensen was called to be Historian/Recorder in 2001. That year, he was released from the Sunday School Presidency and Presidency of the Seventy, but the Ensign only mentions he then went to the Europe Central Area Presidency. The earliest mention I can find anywhere online about his role in the Department is that he was made executive director in 2004 then sustained the next April as the actual Historian/Recorder. I can't find any earlier or later sustainings to this position.
  • There is a note that G. Homer Durham was not sustained as Historian/Recorder but was executive director of the department, however I see here that whether sustained or not, he was Historian/Recorder until death in 1985.
  • Dean L. Larsen is shown to have served until 1989, but he was actually released in 1997 in General Conference.
  • John K. Carmack is shown on have served until 2001, but this article says D. Todd Christofferson took over in 1998.

Rich jj (talk) 21:37, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

This looks pretty bad. We should fix it as best we can, using the sources which you've done well to find. I thought we should ask the original author, but then I saw that they have not edited for months, so I'm not sure if there will be any reply. Good Ol’factory (talk) 21:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I found a source showing Larsen's calling. I'll fix and cite there. I think we still need clear sources for (1) Jensen's calling, (2) Durham's sustaining, (3) Carmack's calling and (4) release, and (5) whether Christofferson held the position. Rich jj (talk) 03:20, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Great; thanks for doing this. I've begun to look too, but as you've probably discovered it's hard to find relevant stuff since the church stopped sustaining the sitting historian every conference. As the dates and names get adjusted, we should also change them in Template:LDShistorian. Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I think I found something good, which suggests that there was no church historian/recorder from 1997 to 2005:
"I've always loved the history of the Church; my wife has gotten after me for years for all the books I've bought," reflected Elder Jensen in a recent Church News interview, having been sustained in April at general conference as the Church Historian/Recorder. He is the first person to hold that office since Elder Dean L. Larsen of the Seventy, who was sustained in April 1985 and formally released in October 1997, though the Family and Church History Department (formerly the Church Historical Department and, before that, the Church Historian's Office) has long and continuously had an integral role in the administrative functions of the Church.
The source is: R. Scott Lloyd, "'Historian by yearning' collects, preserves: Elder Marlin K. Jensen is historian/recorder", Church News, 2005-05-28, p. 12. I found it in the archives at, which unfortunately is not public. I think this means it probably went Durham (–1985); Larson (1985–1997); vacant (1997–2005); Jensen (2005– ). It appears that Carmack and Christofferson never officially held the position, though they were likely directors in the department.
I suggest we eliminate Carmack from the listing, since he was never actually held the position. If we did that, that would lead us with needing only (from your list) something about Durham's calling in 1982. Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:33, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Great find on the Church News. I agree on (1) removing Carmack, (2) fixing Jensen's date, (3) making Jensen #19, (4) correcting Template:LDShistorian, and (5) correcting all biographical WP pages of the affected persons (I've some of these errors there too). I also found this Sunstone article which verifies Jensen's 2005 call and also claims Arrington was released in 1977 (this should be verified from a more primary source). Another find: the original WP errors here may come from this Encyclopedia of Mormonism article. It wrongly reports Larsen's term ending in 1989, and other figures fit with assuming the Executive Director is the same as Church Historian. It might be interesting to catalog Executive Directors and Managing Directors since their ideologies are influential, but that's a whole different task. Rich jj (talk) 19:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Steven E. Snow[edit]

It was announced earlier this month that Elder Steven E. Snow will succeed Elder Marlin K. Jensen as Church Historian and Recorder later this year. This will necessitate Elder Snow's release as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. However, the change is not effective yet, so I don't think it's accurate to list Elder Snow as Church Historian and Recorder until he officially becomes such. Consequently, I am reverting this change. Please post here BEFORE changing it back. No change should be made on WP until it's official so that the page remains accurate. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 18:42, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Because it has been officially announced, I think noting the upcoming change in the article would be appropriate. Maybe a sourced sentence after the table? 72Dino (talk) 18:51, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Great idea. I'll take care of it. Thanks for your feedback. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 19:42, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Steven E. Snow has been listed as Church Historian and Recorder in several sources. This leads me to believe that the change has been made, even though he has not been sustained as such. So my question is, do we make the change now, or wait until after General Conference this weekend? Thoughts? --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 00:48, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Now would be fine if you'd like to & have the time. The church's annual "assignment cycle" began with the 1 August effective date that impacted changes in such things as the Presidency of the Seventy and various Area Presidencies. The official change to Elder Snow is consistent with that date. ChristensenMJ (talk) 02:20, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Have made the change. How does it look? Thanks for the feedback. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 00:36, 5 October 2012 (UTC)